Health Care Or Health Cost?

  • Updated February 18, 2022
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Canada and the US may be very close geographically, yet so distanced ideologically. A significant difference can be found in their health care systems. The system in the United States has been criticized by many for the lack of its success and effectiveness, while Canada system on the other hand seems to be effectual. When it comes to health care system there are two main components public vs private, there are many pros and cons to both. Many would prefer a universal public system where each citizen receives equal coverage, but with that system comes its downside. There is no doubt that no matter what health care should not be viewed as a luxury, something only for the rich, it is a right that every human being deserves. This essay attempts to compare the health care systems in the United States and Canada, including the access, coverage, quality and effectiveness of both systems.

Public vs private

Firstly, I will be discussing the private and public aspect of the health care systems in both the US and Canada. This is the main concept that seems to set these two countries apart when it comes to health care services and how it is delivered. Canada has a universal system. This means that it is governed by the Canada Health Act. This system is designed to guarantee all of it citizens have access to insured health services without being charged out of their pockets on the spot. Many people think that Canadian health care is completely free, which is incorrect. Taxes are collected from each citizen which then allows for this system to be funded and to function. According to ismail (2013) “ a typical Canadian family of four can expect to pay $11,320 for public health care insurance.” Another point that needs to be made clear is that about 70% of health care costs are paid for by the public with taxes, while the remainder 30% paid for privately.

America’s system is quite the opposite, it is run under a private system. Which also means it does not meet the requirements of Canadas health act which consists of 5 main points Public Administration, Comprehensiveness, Universality, Accessibility and portability. Therefoe only those who receive health care benefits from their employers will be covered. There are a few programs that assist those 65 and above, but the rest of the citizens who are unemployed will not receive health care coverage. Bryant (2010) “approximately 45 million people remain uninsured and several million are underinsured such that their health insurance plan does not cover all the health care services they require” (p. 288).

Pros and cons

While from an outsider point of view a public health care system may seem like the ultimate dream, there are many cons to this system. With the universal system, as I mentioned taxes are collected, and the pairing with non-profit organizations, every Canadian expects to receive an equal health care. It is quite different, because of this system you can expect lengthy wait periods for specific surgeries, waiting rooms like the ED are often over crowded with many patients coming for minor complications and therefore also extending the waiting periods for those with serious health complications. Universal healthcare in most case also means reduced pay amount for qualified doctors, this also reduces the attraction for the profession, which in the long run can cause major shortages. We know that in Canada taxes are deducted from our pay, those with a higher income therefore pay more taxes, they can easily argue that that’s unfair since they are paying more for the same services.

The development of a parallel private health care system in Canada may develop a ton of inequities, one being the ones with a higher social economic who can afford to pay privately will take that advantage of that and beat those in line that may have been waiting longer but simply are not capable of affording a private health care system. There is no doubt that a Universal health care overall seems like the better option. If the US adapted this system, gradually they would see a difference in the health of their citizens.

It is clear that Canada and the US differ in an ideological perspective. A public vs private health care system both posses its benefits and negatives. But It is important to look at the bigger picture, which system provides overall better services. Basing on the above comparisons made it is evident that the public system or in other words the universal system is more effective.

Cite this paper

Health Care Or Health Cost?. (2020, Sep 18). Retrieved from https://samploon.com/health-care-or-health-cost/

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